BLM Decision Will Prevent Proposed Ambler Industrial Road in Alaska’s Brooks Range


A circular logo with the text "Hunters & Anglers For The Brooks Range" surrounding images of a fish, rifle, airplane, deer head, and fishing reel, with "AK" and a star in the center.From TRCP:

Today, the Bureau of Land Management released its Record of Decision that will prevent the proposed Ambler Industrial Road in Alaska’s Brooks Range.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the local residents, Alaska Native Tribes, and the more than 14,000 conservation-minded hunters and anglers from across the country who championed for the enduring, wild qualities of the Brooks Range,” said Jen Leahy, Alaska senior program manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We thank the BLM for recognizing the importance of these public lands to hunters and anglers, and for basing this critical decision on the best available science and robust public engagement.”

The ROD follows the agency’s final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, released April 19, in which the BLM selected the “No Action” alternative indicating the agency’s intent to prevent the proposed industrial corridor.

Known as the Ambler Road, the proposed private industrial corridor has received national opposition. The 211-mile corridor would have partially bisected the home range of the Western Arctic Caribou Herd, one of Alaska’s largest herds.

“The recent decision to deny the proposed Ambler Road permit is an unequivocal win for the declining Western Arctic Caribou Herd that will keep, at least temporarily, its home range intact,” said Jim Dau, retired Western Arctic Caribou Herd biologist with Alaska Department of Fish & Game. “Caribou rarely use their entire range in any one year; however, over the course of decades, they use – and need – their entire range. This is increasingly important in a rapidly warming Arctic. What’s good for caribou is also good for the people who value or depend on them.”

“This decision is a great step toward ensuring that current and future generations have the opportunity to experience this majestic, unbroken landscape,” said Lewis Pagel, owner of Arctic Fishing Adventures in Kotzebue, Alaska. “The Brooks Range truly is a place like no other.”

The project would have also crossed 11 major rivers and required nearly 3,000 stream crossings, degrading habitat and potentially impeding fish passage for important subsistence and sportfishing species such as sheefish.

“Brooks Range rivers will remain remote and wild because of this decision,” said fly fishing guide Greg Halbach of Remote Waters in Anchorage, Alaska. “We needed hunters and anglers from all over the country to speak out against the Ambler Road and they did. Because of this collective effort, I will continue to have the privilege and opportunity to immerse my clients in a wild landscape unlike any other.”

The proposed Ambler Road prompted strong resistance from the hunting and fishing community. In 2023, more than 40 Alaska-based businesses, leading outdoor brands, and conservation organizations launched Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range. The collective—which includes guides, outfitters, and transporters who operate in the Brooks Range—urged the BLM to deny the permit for the private industrial corridor. To date, the coalition has delivered more than 14,000 individual letters to the agency opposing the Ambler Road.

As expected, development interests have wasted no time attacking the BLM’s decision. Ambler Road proponents have reportedly included an amendment in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act that would rescind the BLM’s decision and force the Department of the Interior to permit the Ambler Road. This effort will be met with strong resistance as conservation-minded hunters and anglers defend the BLM’s decision.

“With this victory comes a renewed sense of commitment from the hunting and fishing community to safeguard America’s most remote hunting and fishing grounds,” said Leahy. “The Brooks Range is a treasured destination for hunters and anglers, and we will stand guard to defend this iconic and wild landscape from emerging and future threats.”

Learn more about Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range HERE.

Read a blog version of this press release HERE.

Hunters & Anglers for the Brooks Range, a project of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, is a collective of seasoned hunters, anglers, conservationists, and leading outdoor brands. We are committed to defending the wild and remote character of Alaska’s Brooks Range—a world-class hunting and fishing destination—from the proposed Ambler Industrial Road.


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